In a world where CBD is gaining increasing traction as a supplement for wellness, there are, naturally, a slew of misconceptions on the subject of this cannabis component. Some of these myths and misconceptions can be damaging and harm vulnerable sections of the population; others are pretty harmless. In some cases, companies may use such misinformation to their advantage, perpetuating certain myths to try and sell more of their products. Here at Goodbody, we care about separating fact from fiction, which is why we have provided a full guide on some of the most common CBD misconceptions, with an explanation on how and why they are untrue.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, the naturally-occurring chemical compound that is present in the cannabis plant species. More specifically, it occurs throughout both varieties of the cannabis Sativa plant. These two varieties are hemp and marijuana, and both contain CBD; as well as over 100 other cannabinoids, such as THC, CBC, CBN and CBG, to name a few. As well as these cannabinoids, there are other chemical entities featuring both in hemp and marijuana, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, vitamins and fatty acids. CBD is one of the two most commonly-occurring of these cannabinoids, after THC. THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid, which is the main thing that distinguishes it from CBD. When you think of the bad reputation cannabis has had in previous years, that’s all down to the effects of THC- CBD has nothing to do with intoxicating effects!
What does CBD do in the body?
When we take CBD, either by inhaling it, swallowing it or sublingually ingesting it, it is thought to bring about changes in our body, due to its interaction with a complex, cell-signalling biocommunications network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system includes cannabinoids made by our own bodies, known as endocannabinoids, including enzymes and cannabinoid receptors.
The ECS has a vital job: it regulates different functions in the body, helping us to restore a balance (homeostasis) in mental and physical responses; such as that of our inflammation levels, our stress responses, mood and sleep cycles.
The exact way in which CBD engages with the body’s endocannabinoids is still slightly uncertain. Basically, it is thought that this phytocannabinoid (CBD) may influence the way our endocannabinoids bind with our CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors that are present throughout our bodies.
Allegedly, CBD, when it encounters our CB1 receptors, modulates the signalling pathways in the brain; meaning it is potentially able to have an effect on our mental health, such as our stress and anxiety levels (Zou & Kumar, 2018). When CBD targets our CB2 receptors, which are all found around the immune system, it is thought to possibly affect our immune response to pathogens. Furthermore, CB2 receptors moderate our levels of inflammation, so CBD may be able to influence things like inflammation-borne autoimmune diseases (Katchan et al., 2016).
Debunking the myths
Unfortunately, as the stigma is still clearing up around cannabis, myths are still rampant on the subject of CBD. Here at Goodbody, we care about preserving the good name of CBD and reinforcing all of its potentials. That’s why we are committed to dispelling any myths to help extinguish our consumers’ worries. So, here are some common examples of myths about CBD:
“CBD gets you high”
Myth! CBD products will only ever contain trace amounts of THC, the more psychotropic compound derived from cannabis. In some countries, such as the U.K. and many E.U. member states, no more than 0.2% THC is legal in a CBD product. In the U.S., this threshold is slightly higher, at 0.3%.
In actual fact, CBD has been seen in research to reverse the effects of a high brought on by marijuana, by possibly counteracting the psychotropic effects of THC (Niesink & Van Laar, 2013).
The critical thing to remember is that CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, which contains naturally lower concentrations of THC, and higher amounts of cannabidiol to begin with. Hemp is the chosen variety of cannabis when it comes to deriving commercial products, as marijuana contains higher quantities of THC.
“CBD is illegal”
As we said in the last point, CBD is perfectly legal in many parts of the world, so long as its THC content is limited to the legal amount decided by that country.
That being said, there are often contradictions in the law of every country when it comes to CBD, and laws differ from place to place as well, so we recommend checking your country’s laws on cannabis before importing in a CBD product from a foreign website. If you’re travelling, remember to also check the laws of the country into which you are entering – just to be on the safe side!
“CBD oil is the same as hemp seed oil”
Wrong! There are a number of differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Firstly, hemp oil comes from the hemp seeds of the cannabis plant. The process of extraction, then, is entirely different for hemp oil. Hemp seed oil is extracted by means of a cold-pressing extraction from hemp seed varieties that contain around 30% oil, but no cannabinoids. This process is much easier and cheaper than the various extraction methods used to produce CBD oil, meaning the subsequent hemp oil products are often cheaper than CBD oils. CBD oil is extracted mainly from the plant’s flowers, leaves, and stalks, using methods such as supercritical CO2 extraction; ethanol extraction, or hydrocarbon extraction.
So, although both hemp oil and CBD oil originate from the same plant, they are not the same. They are two different compounds with chemical properties and compositions; they are extracted in different ways, and they come from different parts of the plant. Moreover, hemp oil will only ever contain only trace amounts of CBD.
We do sympathise with all the confusion, as hemp oil and CBD oil are often given similar names, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. To make matters worse, hemp oil is sometimes used as a carrier oil for CBD. So, long as you know how to identify CBD on a product label, you won’t fall victim to the confusion and purchase the wrong oil. Here are the names under which CBD poses:
- Hemp CBD
- Full-spectrum hemp
- PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich)
- PCR hemp extracts.
“CBD topicals are good for mental health”
Another myth. Although many CBD delivery methods hold the potential to exert certain effects on our physical and mental health, not all of them do. CBD topicals, which are applied to the skin, will not have such effects. For those potential effects to be activated, CBD needs to reach your bloodstream, which topicals do not. Creams, balms, lotions, and salves only have an impact on the areas of skin to which they are applied, possibly by interacting with the receptors on your skin. In other words, there is no way for these products to seep into your bloodstream. CBD topicals are thereby a great option for targeted, localised self-care, but not for much more. For example, if you wanted to focus on an area of your skin that was inflamed, itchy, or affected by acne, a CBD topical could potentially assist you. CBD topicals may even help out with sore muscles and stiff joints (Hammell et al., 2016). As for things like reducing anxiety, however? Unfortunately not.
“CBD is addictive”
CBD is a certified non-addictive substance. This means you can take as much as you like of this substance and not become dependent upon it (Hurd, 2020). (While you can’t actually overdose, the FSA has advised that 70mg per day is recommended). CBD is not to be confused with narcotics or opioids; in fact, in a recent announcement, the European Union’s high court pronounced that under an international drug treaty, hemp-derived CBD will no longer be classed as a narcotic, making it subject to E.U. law on the free movement of goods among member states. This constituted a landmark reinterpretation of the 1961 U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
“You can overdose on CBD”
You certainly cannot! While it is possible to take a dose that may be too strong for your own personal metabolism, age, weight or condition, you still cannot overdose. Adverse reactions may occur in some cases, such as nausea, lightheadedness, headaches, diarrhoea, weight changes and appetite changes (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017), however, these are quite rare. Still, as a result, the Food Standards Agency has recommended that healthy adults do not exceed 70mg per day.
“No research exists on CBD, as it is too difficult to research a controlled substance”
Another common misconception, which, if you have been concentrating, you’ll have hopefully already noticed from the read thus far. There are multiple studies out there that have been conducted about CBD. Historically, yes, it was difficult to examine CBD due to its illegal and controversial status, meaning it has been hard to get hold of in the past. However, particularly in recent years, studies have constantly been emerging, and are still going on to this day.
On the other hand, sometimes, research is exploited by CBD companies and taken too literally. Despite the volume of research out there, much of it remains preliminary. Many of the findings are initial findings that are still speculative until more research can be done to draw definitive conclusions. So, when reading a CBD study, remember not to take the findings as gospel, but rather as a probable scientific reality.
“CBD is purely a marketing fad”
Incorrect! Granted, there is some dodgy marketing out there where CBD companies try to convince you that CBD will be a cure-all panacea. There are also mounds of anecdotal reports that say CBD in itself is a complete myth and does not work. Neither of these does CBD any favours when convincing people of its legitimacy and its therapeutic successes.
If you have read reports of CBD not working, or being purely a marketing scam, we advise that you do not take anybody’s claims seriously until you try a certified CBD product for yourself. Ultimately, everybody is different, with different endocannabinoid systems and different conditions, and CBD might not work for absolutely everybody. However, it’s important to remember that there is scientific research available to testify to the potential of CBD, and the medical industry has no interest in marketing CBD in any biased way.
“You cannot mix CBD and driving”
Untrue, you can absolutely drive while there is CBD in your system, as it is not a substance that has any mind-altering effects that could affect or delay your responses or reactions, as marijuana or alcohol would. The confusion around CBD and driving understandably stems from the conflation of CBD and marijuana. Rest assured, you are perfectly fine to be behind the wheel after taking CBD, as long as it does not contain high concentrations of THC- which most legal products will not.
Of course, as a uniform rule, you should never drive if you’re feeling weary, intoxicated, or tired, as this could put yourself and others at risk.
“CBD and alcohol cannot be mixed”
On the contrary, CBD and alcohol can make a great combination, which is a reality that is echoed across the internet where CBD cocktail recipes abound. It is even hypothesised that cannabidiol may decrease the volume of alcohol in the blood, and potentially alleviate other side effects of alcohol (Consroe et al., 1979; Turna et al., 2019).
“You can only make edibles from marijuana”
Fiction! In fact, you can make, bake, or buy your own yummy edibles infused with CBD oil. Many CBD edibles come pre-made, in the form of chocolate, gummies and biscuits, too. As a reminder, unlike marijuana edibles, CBD edibles are legal and will not intoxicate you. Why not try our Goodbody Botanicals CBD gummies as a sweet treat?
“You will fail a drug test if you take CBD”
Taking CBD will not result in a failed drug test, due to the insufficient levels of THC in CBD products. Trace amounts of THC will not produce a failed drug test, meaning CBD can be used by athletes, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“CBD can cure diseases”
This is an example of a dangerous myth – cannabidiol is not a panacea, and no reliable CBD outlet should ever claim that it is. No CBD product can or will cure any illness; rather, it could potentially help to manage or alleviate various symptoms, such as pain.
Research is key
As you can see, then, the myths surrounding CBD are innumerable. And there are many more than those we have mentioned.
It’s no secret that there can be obscurity in the CBD industry; the FDA has not approved any CBD product, meaning companies may make exaggerated claims about their products or slightly bend the rules on labelling or THC content. That’s why it is imperative that you conduct thorough research before making that CBD purchase. So, you ask, what are some of the things you should be looking for when scouting out a CBD product? The Sativa Wellness Group (Parent company of Goodbody Wellness) has a research partnership with Kings College London looking at the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for specific complaints.
Certificates of Analysis (COA)
This would be the first place to start. Certificates of Analysis tell you the exact cannabinoid and terpene profile of a given CBD product. It lets you know that a product or batch of CBD oil has been rigorously examined for contaminants, and has had its safety confirmed by an independent, third-party laboratory. Any reputable CBD company should have their COAs entirely visible, or should provide them on request.
These are always a good indicator of how well a product was received by the public, and who better to trust than your fellow consumers? Sources like Trustpilot are always reliable. A company that has nothing to hide will not be shy about publishing its reviews!
Before you look for either of the above, though, we recommend stopping for a moment and asking yourself the following questions:
- What will you be using your CBD for?
- Will it clash with any medication(s) you take?
- Will a conversation with a doctor be necessary before beginning a CBD regime?
- Are you mistakenly using it in place of vital medications that you need to take?
- Are you using it to compensate for a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle, rather than as a supplement to one?
CBD: the facts
CBD has a lot of therapeutic potentials. We have summarised some of the ways in which it has proved possibly beneficial in terms of being an agent of wellness.
- CBD & mental health: Studies have drawn possible correlations between CBD and the serotonin receptor (De Mello Schier et al., 2014; De Gregorio et al., 2019). As a result, this cannabinoid has been linked to potential improvements in mental state, by possibly affecting symptoms of depression, variants of anxiety and other mental health conditions. It is thought to do this by potentially interacting with mood-affecting neurotransmitters and regulating our stress hormone, cortisol. Some of the anxiety disorders over which CBD is said to have a positive impact upon symptoms include PTSD, OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder (Blessing et al., 2015).
- CBD & neurological health: CBD is particularly known to have possible neuroprotective properties that could decelerate the neurodegenerative process and thereby potentially ward off illnesses like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s.
Based on rodent studies, it is thought that cannabidiol might also slow down or abrogate certain pathological processes present in Alzheimer’s. Other studies on mice indicate the neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of CBD (Casarejos et al., 2013; Hampson et al., 1998) and its possible ability to affect the neuroinflammation that is a significant contributor to Alzheimer’s. According to the U.S. patent, cannabinoids are useful when it comes to supplementing the treatment of a wide variety of certain oxidation diseases, those caused by inflammatory and autoimmune issues. The cannabinoids are found to have particular possible applications in limiting neurological damage following certain traumas such as strokes, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease). While on the subject of neurological health, research has always maintained that cannabidiol may have tremendous therapeutic potential when it comes to epilepsy and reducing the occurrence of seizures associated with this disorder (Silvestro et al., 2019; Perucca 2017). In a number of ways, then, CBD has been found to be potentially beneficial for our neurological wellbeing.
- CBD & sleep: Research has shown that cannabidiol could perhaps promote more decadent sleep. It is even anecdotally and clinically reported to tackle various sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea and REM sleep disorder (Babson et al., 2017; Chagas et al., 2014), all because of its relationship with the ECS and its work with our CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD may improve sleep by potentially tackling some of the underlying issues that are causing poor sleep, such as stress and anxiety (Shannon et al., 2019). The phytocannabinoid may regulate our stress hormone, cortisol, so we achieve a peaceful night’s sleep.
- CBD & inflammation: As we mentioned earlier, CB2 receptors moderate our levels of inflammation, and CBD is believed to influence our CB2 receptors. Thus, when CBD is taken, it may regulate inflammation through its impact on our CB2 receptors. In one study, cannabinoids were said to potentially help to regulate cytokine and chemokine production, andpossibly even contribute to the suppression of inflammatory responses (Nagarkatti et al., 2009). Inflammation can affect us all over the body, including in the bowel, muscles, joints and on the skin, each of which has studies which cite improvement in inflammation symptoms in these areas (Picardo et al., 2019; McCartney et al., 2020; Palmieri et al., 2019).
- CBD & nausea: Among the list of cannabidiol’s credentials is its possible nausea-suppressing status. Several clinical trials have asserted that cannabinoids may have an antiemetic effect on both humans and animals (Parker et al., 2011), such that it has been proposed as a supplement for chemotherapy-induced nausea in cancer patients.
- CBD & pain: Pain may occur for dozens of reasons, be it injury or illness. One of the reasons it can affect you is inflammation, which is where CBD comes in. CBD has been explored as having potential applications in pain relief (Manzanares et al., 2006). Given CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities, it is no surprise that this cannabinoid may also alleviate the pain caused by inflammation. Studies have cited potential improvements in pain in patients who have fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and even cancer, after CBD administration (Baron, 2018; Ahmed & Katz, 2016; Rudroff & Sosnoff, 2018; NCI; Johnson et al., 2013).
We hope that, if you were previously someone that bought into the myths surrounding CBD, you are now a changed person by the end of this read. Or, if you weren’t aware of any of the existing myths to do with this cannabis-constituent, you are now fully briefed and ready to take on the tidal wave of CBD rumours. All we hope to do here at Goodbody is preserve the integrity and good name of CBD, so we will continue to dispel any myths and misconceptions that emerge about CBD. Next time you hear a questionable statement about cannabidiol, think about it, and do your due diligence before giving it credence.
We wish you an easy and successful experience with CBD, and a myth-free one at that!
Goodbody is the U.K.’s first prestige CBD wellness centre brand. Goodbody Wellness and Goodbody Botanicals are based in the U.K. and specialise in premium CBD and wellness products. Goodbody is the only CBD company that owns the manufacturing process from seed to shelf to have full traceability of the products at each stage to offer consistent quality products, every time you purchase. At Goodbody, we also strive to provide the highest quality CBD products, which we demonstrate by our stringent quality control and rigorous testing by PhytoVista Labs, an independently managed laboratory working with ISO standards. We can say with pride that our products are made and lab-certified in the U.K.